Following its submission of the national budget for fiscal year 2015/2016 to the 53rd National Legislature, the Ministry of Finance Development Planning (MFDP) has launched budget awareness activities to draw public knowledge of the process and promote public access to the fiscal documents.
Launching the program yesterday, Assistant Minister for Budget and Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance, Augustine Blama told the students of the William V.S. Tubman High school that the budget awareness initiative is a government priority and is aligned with the country’s Agenda for Transformation (AfT).
Minister Blama indicated that the budget awareness will be held across the country to enable citizens have access and build their knowledge of the fiscal documents.
During the process, he said, the MDFP would interact with different sectors including the National Legislature, Executive Branch, Budget Technicians, Service Providers and Civil Society Organizations in the country.
According to him, budgets are resources that are allocated based on policy decisions of the country. The assistant minister also said that the national budget is made up of two components which include strategy planning and operational planning.
He further explained: “Strategic planning in the budget process runs from September to January, while the operational planning runs from February to April. The budget process represents a high level decision linking resources and priorities in line with resource available while the operational planning in the budget process is a draft detailed budget estimate in line with ceiling.”
For his part, the Principal of William VS Tubman High School, Rev. Spencer S. Togba applauded the Government through the MFDP and the budget department for allowing his institution to be part of the budget forum discussion for the first time in the school’s history.
The Open Budget Initiative is a global research and advocacy program to promote public access to budget information and adaption of account budget systems. The open forum discussions were attended by students, principal, vice principal teachers, and team from the Ministry of Finance and Development planning.